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Chimineas are incredibly popular outdoor living appliances because of their efficient functionality and decorative attributes.

They are accent pieces that amplify your garden or patio’s beauty while keeping the outdoor living space warm and conducive for you and your loved ones to enjoy during the day or at night.

Although having a chiminea in your backyard accentuates your garden or backyard’s beauty and feel, the smoke generated by a dysfunctional chiminea can make the outdoor environment unbearable for you.

Here are several chiminea smoke problems and suggestions on how to prevent and solve them.

Causes of smoke problems in Chimineas

Several things can transform your chiminea from a beautiful outdoor appliance to an unbearable nuisance because of smoke.

Here are a few causes of smoky Chimineas.

The fuel you use

Different fuels burn differently and, therefore, produce different amounts of smoke.

Typical Chimineas allow you to use firewood, logs, or charcoal as fuel.

The combustion rate of these fuels will determine the amount of smoke generated.

Furthermore, the condition that the fuel is in will also affect its rate of combustion.

A typical example is that you will get different smoke output when you use a young log instead of an older, dry log.

That is because; a younger log contains natural moisture within it.

Similarly, using a damp log will generate different results from a dry log.

After ignition, the fire has to do away with all the moisture before heat generation as intended.

Burning through moisture generates more smoke and less heat from the chiminea.

The fuel you should use depends on the design and type of chiminea you have.

Using wooden logs in an iron cast chiminea designed for charcoal combustion may also cause smoke problems.

That is because the chiminea may not provide enough aeration for adequate combustion of the logs.

Your chiminea is dirty.

Another leading cause of chiminea smoke problems is the presence of dirt and unwanted material in the chiminea.

The presence of foliage or other material that burns irregularly will cause your chiminea to produce more smoke than desired.

Plastic material, paper bags, and clothing pieces are other examples of unwanted material that can cause unnecessary smoke production by your chiminea.

Dust, debris, and ash can also hinder fuel combustion in your chiminea, causing sooty flames and a smoke upsurge.


When using an iron cast chiminea, you will notice that rust accumulates over time.

Rust accumulation hinders the performance and efficiency of the chiminea.

Since smoke is caused by incomplete fuel combustion, an inefficient chiminea produces a significant amount of smoke.

Chiminea position in your patio

When you position your chiminea to face the incoming wind, it is likely to produce more smoke because the wind will not give the flame enough time to burn through the fuel.

This incomplete combustion reduces heat generation and increases soot production, causing smoke.

Why smoke problems in a chiminea are hazardous

In addition to the smoke generated by incomplete combustion being irritating, it is extremely hazardous and can cause several health problems or even death.

Chimineas use carbon-based fuels. Incomplete combustion of carbon-based fuels produces carbon monoxide, which is harmful to human health.

The smoke generated from chimineas is not always carbon monoxide.

Depending on the cause of the smoke, there exists a variety of dangerous chemicals in it.

Examples of these harmful pollutants include polycyclic hydrocarbons (PAHs), Acrolein, Formaldehyde, and Benzene.

Health threats of smoke

Smoke contains microscopic particles that can get into your eyes and cause irritation and burning eyes.

When you breathe smoke in, and it gets to your respiratory system, it irritates and may lead to you having a running nose.

In severe cases, smoke may find its way to the lungs and cause respiratory diseases like bronchitis.

Smoke in the respiratory system triggers reactions from asthma affected individuals.

Smoke coagulation in the respiratory system causes suffocation, irregular heart rhythms, and can trigger heart attacks from volatile individuals.

Whereas smoke can affect anyone, children, the elderly, and individuals with asthma, lung diseases, and COPD are the most vulnerable to the effects of smoke.

Environmental effects of smoke

Incomplete combustion of carbon fuels depletes the ozone layer and increases the global warming effect on the environment.

Smoke also depreciates the aesthetics of scenic surroundings.

Finally, smoke particles in the air cause haze and reduce visibility for human beings.

How to avoid or fix smoke problems with your chiminea

Here are a few tips to help you prevent or solve your smoke-related chimenea problems.

Regularly clean your chiminea.

Before use, ensure you remove the ash and debris from the chimney.

Remove any material that may interfere with the flame burning the fuel.

Watch out for plastic, rubber, and other material that may produce toxic fumes as fuel burns.

Remove rust from your cast iron chimenea.

Many people choose to purchase metal chimeneas because they don’t crack or break as easily as clay chimeneas.

The downside of metal chimeneas is that they rust over time.

Scrub the rust from your chimenea frequently to remove it and avoid loss of heat and incomplete fuel combustion.

Proper fuel choice

Pick out the correct fuel according to the material and design of your chimenea.

Do not use wood, and yet you purchased charcoal fueled chimenea.

Also, avoid using moist wooden logs or young wood for fuel because they will produce a sooty flame with a lot of smoke.

Check and remove any foliage from your fuel to ensure you only have the intended fuel in your flame when using your chimenea.

Furthermore, you can use smokeless fuels like heat logs from sawdust, coke, anthracite, oak, or pine wood to achieve more desirable results.

Feed the chimenea progressively.

Chimeneas are designed to burn fuel in bits.

Stuffing the chimenea with many logs or charcoal at ago may reduce aeration and lead to incomplete combustion, which produces smoke.

Chimeneas add a mesmerizing character to any garden and backyard.

However, they require maintenance and adequate care for you to get the most out of them.

Use the outlined tips to get a smokeless, warm outdoor experience.

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